Letters to the Editor

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CAMERAS: Both side are missing the point

Letter by Alan A. Hudina, Browns Point on May 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm with 7 Comments »
May 23, 2011 9:48 am

Enough already with the red- light camera debate. Each side is missing the point of the other. Red-light cameras, just like guns or alcohol, are not inherently bad. The fault lies in the manner in which the devices ares used.

Does anyone really think deterring reckless drivers running red lights is bad? I doubt that anyone does. Clearly it is in the public interest to prevent such actions that can and often do lead to untold grief and suffering of innocent drivers.

If the cameras are used to cite such egregious behavior, then indeed use them to cite such violations and levy a substantial fine. I don’t think that $124 is enough. If the cameras reduce the incidence of these reckless actions, then by all means, support the camera’s use.

However, if the cameras are used to levy a $124 fine (reduced if you make an appearance in Fife Municipal Court, as I did) merely because you came to a complete stop, and using your turn signal made an otherwise legal turn, with the exception of stopping a foot or two beyond the vehicle stop line; then this is a misuse of what could be a valuable and life-saving device.

Again, the device is not inherently bad, but the manner in which it is often used is. Keep the device and refine its use in support of the stated purpose, reducing the incidence of people running red lights.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. jjohnson67 says:

    Very well said, Alan. I agree 100%.

  2. Ithappened2me2 says:

    Waiting for the P twins to show up and say you are all wrong with your opinion.

  3. Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly, Alan. Rather than throw the cameras out, refine their use so that someone running a red light is severely fined, but someone who stops but not before crossing that big white stop line, receives a much smaller fine. Those who review these violations should be able to differentiate between an actual red light runner and a late stopper.

    These violations do not effect ones driving record, so the fine is the only deterrent.

  4. Ithappened2me2 says:

    That would be a step in the right direction, except for the City of Fife.

    How about if they stop past the line, and they actually stopped, don’t send them a ticket?

  5. “How about if they stop past the line, and they actually stopped, don’t send them a ticket?” Because the law says that you have to stop before the stop line.

    Why have a stop line if you’re not going to enforce it? There are some very good safety reasons for having that stop line.

  6. slugoxyz says:

    Darn. Always scares me when Polago is right. …And he is here. Besides, if just your front two wheels are across the line, the camera “should” not activate. It should require the entire car being across the line. I’m not sure how Fife does it. I know they are strict and I am not a fan of the affidavit requiring you to identify who the driver was (if it was not you). That is involving you in the investigative process and that’s really their job. I have heard of RLC snapping cars making a legal right on red. That is wrong and should be fixed. Shortening yellows is wrong (even if there is no “legal” length of time per se). RLC are a good thing but I agree. They can always be made better.

  7. Ithappened2me2 says:

    The stop line is there to let the driver know where to stop. I am sorry, but driving is analogue, not digital. There are no 0’s and 1’s to tell you where to stop. If you see the line, and stop, and your bumper is one inch over the line, you shouldn’t get a ticket. If there was a real cop there, he wouldn’t worry about it. But since there is an expensive camera there (and you probably work for the camera company) the city will not waive the ticket because they have to pay the service fee for the camera.

    I am done flogging this dead horse……

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